Beijing, Day 11, June 18 – Ashley Pierce

We woke up to a very “foggy” day which may or may not have contributed to the slow start to our morning. We enjoyed our last meal in the executive lounge and thanked Henry (our favorite server) for all the help he gave us in finding restaurants and tea markets and other such things. We figured out how we were going to check out of the rooms and where all of our stuff was going and then Christine, Andrew and I accompanied by Christine’s new friend Lucy headed out to the tea market.

It was a long taxi ride but so worth it. The first store we went in we were treated to tea tasting and Andrew and I found a good Oolong tea that we both enjoyed. We then entered the tea mall where every vendor tried to entice us into their stores by bringing out tea for us to smell. It was wonderful and I was thoroughly enjoying myself. Andrew found some more tea that he was looking for and I, after a long search, found a tea pot for my parents. Lucy and Christine helped communicate what we wanted and then helped us lower the price.

We headed back to the hotel and spent the rest of the time before our flight sitting in the executive lounge while Adam S. conducted some interviews. We left the hotel for the airport leaving Christine to continue her adventures in Asia. We got through security with no mishaps or quarantined students, ate our last meal in China and boarded the plane. Where we sat. And sat. For about an hour and a half. Apparently a volcano had erupted and the plane was being rerouted and so needed more fuel plus the weather in Beijing was not so nice. We finally took off and besides a screaming baby in front of me and a kid kicking the back of my seat the flight was fine. We arrived about 3 hours later than originally expected but we were home.